I’m willing to admit Midnight Radio had completely passed me by, until I stumbled across it in my local comic book shop only a few days after I’d read the first issue of Alice In Leatherland, and I’m glad it did. I really enjoyed the first issue of the latter, and was eager to check out more of Iolanda Zanfardino’s work.
Following four people in San Francisco living very different lives, Midnight Radio tells the story of how a mysterious late-night radio broadcast inspires each of them to take their lives in brave new directions.
It’s a graphic novel that succeeds in the difficult task of weaving together four seemingly unconnected characters, with each of them navigating through social issues of LGBTQ+ rights, racism, social network addiction, and making the tough choice between following your dreams or settling down.
There’s a great sense of emotion throughout each characters story, and I feel like every reader will find something they can relate to. Honestly much like I had nothing but praise for Alice In Leatherland I’m kind of running into the same problem here. Iolanda Zanfardino’s writing just feels sincere and all of her characters feel like believable people, whether it’s through the dialogue and depiction of their relationships or the more unlikely scenarios they find themselves within. Combined with Zanfardino’s artwork we get a really well realised story, illustrated in a style that feels as genuine as the writing. There’s also some good integration of text messages and instagram posts as part of the story telling, which can feel shoehorned into some comics, but fits perfectly here.
Midnight Radio is an altogether positive and uplifting read, showcasing not only Iolanda Zanfardino’s superb writing but also her tremendous monochromatic artwork.